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Bearcats run away from field at ECAC Golf Championship

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APALACHIN, N.Y. - Host Binghamton shot 292-296-588 to capture the ECAC Division I Golf Championship by 18 strokes over runner-up Hartford (606) and the rest of the 16-team championship field. Amid challenging conditions at the windy 7,011-yard Links at Hiawatha Landing, BU opened up an eight-stroke lead after Saturday's opening round, then battled through Sunday's stiff wind as many of the contending teams faded back. The Bearcats put four golfers in the top-10, and were the lone team to shoot a sub-300 round, doing it twice. Binghamton has now won five of six events this fall, and owns a combined 79-2-2 thus far this season.

"The boys did it in impressive fashion," head coach John Affleck said. "I'm proud of the way we carried ourselves."

Binghamton senior captain Adam Fuchs (Plainview, N.Y./JFK-Plainview) captured medalist honors after shooting 70-76=146. Fuchs, who opened the tournament with a brilliant 2-under 70, grinded out his final round with one birdie and 13 pars. He won by one stroke over junior teammates Joe Kunz (Webster, N.Y.) and Keith Hendrickson (Syosset, N.Y.) and Harvard junior Andrew Klein, who each stood at 147. Hendrickson's final-round even-par 72 tied for the best among the 80 golfers, and spearheaded BU's 296 on Sunday.

For Fuchs, the individual championship caps a stellar four-year career that has seen the Long Island native win nearly every big tournament except the ECAC crown. Fuchs' one-stroke win on Sunday was his 10th tournament title in his collegiate career. It also extended his remarkable streak of top-10 finishes to 16 consecutive tournaments, dating back to last fall.

"Adam wanted this one," Affleck said. "And that's what makes a great athlete. His 2-under 70 on Saturday in those conditions was incredible. Sunday he showed he's a great grinder. I'm so happy for him."

The Bearcats were ECAC runners-up in 1992 and 2000, when the tournament was open to qualifying teams from all three NCAA divisions. Beginning last season, the championship format was altered to a Division I-only event.

"This one for me was very important," Affleck said of his team's first-ever ECAC title. "We've had so many close calls at ECACs ... so many heartbreaks. Now to win it in Division I is special."

As they have done all fall, the Bearcats showed their team depth in the two-day championship. On day one, Fuchs and Kunz, the team's No. 1 and 2 men, led the way with a 70 and 72 respectively. On Sunday, as that tandem battled through some adversity, No. 3 man Keith Hendrickson and junior No. 4 Eric Vinal (Syracuse, N.Y./Nottingham) stepped up to shoot 72 and 73 respectively. Freshman Brad Moulton (Orangeville, Ontario), the team's No. 5 man, also contributed a "counting" 75 on Saturday. In all, BU's starting five produced all 10 rounds in the 70s - a feat no other team could match.

Binghamton will next host the BU Invitational, October 19-20 at En-Joie Golf Course in Endicott.

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